A group of Taliban bombers, including suicide bombers, attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul Tuesday at 10pm local time. The luxury hotel is popular among international guests. There are reports of ongoing fighting at the hotel.
Three Taliban penetrated that security, and one of them detonated on the second floor, said Erin Cunningham, a journalist in Kabul for The National. "We’re continuing to hear small-arms fire right now," she told CNN from a vantage about 500 meters from the hotel. Several snipers were on the roof firing at Afghan security forces.
A few minutes beforehand, she said, rocket-propelled grenades were launched from the roof of the hotel toward the area of the first vice president’s house. "Everyone is pretty nervous," she said. "A lot of people are fleeing the scene."Source: edition.cnn.com
The attack happened a day before a news conference scheduled in the hotel to discuss the planned transition of security from international to Afghan forces. The hotel is protected by heavy security.
The hotel is built on a hillside in Kabul’s west with heavy fortifications all round and is often used for conferences and by Western officials visiting the city.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, said a group of Taliban bombers was responsible for the 10 p.m. attack.
One guest told the Associated Press that the attack began when many people were having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, and that he had jumped out of a first-floor window to escape the gunmen.
"I was running with my family," said the man, named as Jawid. "There was shooting. The restaurant was full with guests."
Afghan officials told the BBC that a group of Afghan governors had been meeting at the hotel at the time of the attack.
An Afghan intelligence official at the hotel told the BBC: ”We are still fighting the attackers. Our initial reports show there are at least 10 casualties.
"One of the attackers managed to get on the roof of the hotel. The electricity is gone. We are covering a lot of area in and around the hotel. But we have a lot of guests in the room that we want to protect.”Source: www.bbc.co.uk
At least 10 people have been reported to have died in the attack.
Reminds you of Mumbai attacks.
We will keep you posted withe updates!